Student Blogger Update

In the week Oct. 2 - Oct. 6 we have learned many things. We are also very excited to share them with you so let's dive in!
In writing, we have been working on our personal narratives. Working on our leads, dreaming the dream, telling the story from the inside, transitional phrases, and conclusions. With all of this information we are now making a final copy for the most perfect personal narrative. We will be graded on this to see how well we can put all of this info together in 5 days.

In our math unit, we are wrapping up multiplication and moving on to division! We talked about the difference between long division and partial quotient and why partial quotient is better. We have also been talking about how multiplication is the same as division and how they are different.

In reading, we have been working more on our 5th grade thinking stems. (5th grade thoughts) We have also been focusing on our schema. We are choosing books at our reading level and stopping every now and then to write down a thought. Every once and awhile, we will read a picture book with the class and open up our readers notebook to write down notes.

In geography this week, we finished up our NFL presentations. We filled out a form about each presentation for a region and answered some questions after they presented. We will be starting on a new geography unit next week so be sure to check that out. We are currently working on National Parks.

Weekly Song  
This week, we didn’t have a weekly song. We sang songs we’ve done before but we also talked about the theme for…. “Glow”, “Life is a Highway” and we sang “Unwritten.” They are such good songs!


Reader's Response Letters

This week we will have our first Reader's Response Letter due.  This will be an assignment that will go throughout the school year due every other week.  A good way to remember which weeks they are due is it will always be on Spelling Weeks (as opposed to Wordly Wise weeks).

We have done a lot in class with these: keeping track of thinking using sticky notes, starting small and writing about our reading, adding more to our writing with explanations, and finally a few practice letters in class.  They have also seen many examples and should know what to produce at home for homework.  These letters can be written or typed and, for the first few, I'd love them stapled to their Weekly Reading Logs.

Each week students will turn in a Reader's Response on something that they have recently read.  This can be from a novel, magazine, blog, or non-fiction text.  The first part of the response is a summary of what they read.  The second part should show me their thinking about what they read.  Here are a few more for your reference as well as some ideas to get you started: 

What's going on in 5th grade?

I just wanted to give you a sneak peak at what we will be learning this month!

This month we will be working on two comprehension tasks.  First we will be looking at story elements.  We will learn and begin to use in our vocabulary terms such as protagonists, antagonist, theme, rising action, climax, resolution, character traits, and types of conflict.  We will also be activating schema (or background knowledge) when looking at new text as well as making connections across texts.
What can you do at home? Encourage reading as much as possible!!  Ask them to describe the plot of their text when reading fiction.  You can also do this with television shows and movies you are watching as a family.  When reading nonfiction, ask your kiddo to share how their schema changed.  Did the reading confirm, add to, or modify what they thought they already knew.

This month we will start our first Lucy Caulkins unit: Personal Narrative.  You may have heard the term "small moments" in previous grades.  This will tie into our reading comprehension as students write true stories of events in their lives that have all the story elements we learned during reading workshop.
What can you do at home?  I would love if you would remind your student about special events or moments in their lives.  It doesn't have to be life-changing but maybe about a time they overcame an obstacle or realized something about themselves.  Also, they are welcome to bring in pictures from home as inspiration for stories they'd like to write about.

We will be diving into multiplication and division strategies this month.  We will be working hard through the distributive property and really looking at how numbers are related to work through computation faster.  I won't be teaching the traditional algorithm of multiplication and division this month as our focus is more on number sense, but have no fear, this concept will be taught this year.
What can you do at home? When you do those simple computation concepts in your head, talk it through with your kiddo.  Even the simple ones show how you break apart, estimate, justify your thinking.  Also, I know that some of you have already shown your child the traditional algorithm and that is completely fine, but please know that we will be looking at numbers differently and when they try to do math in a way that doesn't make sense to you, stop and give them time to think it through.  Yes it will take longer than you'd like, and yes that can be frustrating, but know I promise we will get there to a place of accuracy and efficiency.

We are starting to look at how the US is broken into regions.  For our purposes we will look at five major regions.  In each region we will talk about the key terms of: agriculture, products and industry, climate, natural resources, and culture.  We will end this unit with a fun project!  More to come later.
What can you do at home? Share what you know about states you've been to.  How do they compare with each other?

Other important information and goings on:
CogAT Testing - Sept 6-8
Western Night - Sept 15th
Teacher Professional Development Day (no school) - Sept 22
Digger Dash - Sept 29th
Conferences - Sept 27th & Oct 5

First Full Week

It's been a great first few days!  I am looking forward to our first full week of school.  

A few things to keep in mind this week: we will be celebrating our Digital Citizen Week with a spirit week.  A flier went home on Wednesday discussing the spirit wear dress for the week (it was a bring green).  I am attaching it here as well.  

Also, please see Jenny Brown's Blog to learn more about our school wide eclipse viewing.  We will be going out to the field to watch around 11am.  I am going to bring a few blankets to sit on, but if your kiddo wants to bring one in to share with a few friends that would be helpful.

Again, if you didn't get a chance to attend Back to School Night, my presentation is on my blog, and I also ask that you fill out the Parent Survey if you haven't already done so.

I look forward to a great year with some fantastic kiddos!

Back to School Night

For any who may have missed Back to School Night here is the digital presentation I showed and talked through.  Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

Here's to a great year!!

Slide Show

Parent Survey

Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey.

Welcome Letter

Dear Families,

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!  I am so excited to be back and to get to know all of these new kiddos and families.  Fifth grade is going to be an amazing year full of learning, growth, partnerships, new experiences, and fun.  We have some great learning experiences to look forward to, which include a dissection, pushing ourselves in our writing abilities, growing as mathematicians, using technology regularly and purposefully, and a fun-filled day at Outdoor Ed.

A little about myself professionally: I went to college at Cal Poly, and still to this day think it's one of the greatest places on earth.  I studied education there with an emphasis in biology.  I stayed there an additional year to earn my teaching credential.  I then moved down to Valencia, CA where I taught fourth grade.  When I moved to Colorado, I knew that Douglas County was a great fit for me.  This will be my 15th year teaching in total, and my seventh here at Gold Rush Elementary.  I have since received my Masters Degree in education and am still often taking classes on weekends and over the summers.

Personally, I am originally from a small town outside of Santa Barbara and try to get home to visit family at least once a year; not only for the love of family, but to get my fix of the beach.  I have two great children who both be attend Gold Rush: Gavin (4th grade) and Rylah (2nd grade).  I love living in this great state because of all there is to do.  I’m often found hiking, going to concerts, dancing, camping, finding fun restaurants, snowboarding, and just being outside in general.

Prepare to see a lot of growth this year in your kiddos both academically and emotionally.  Fifth grade is a year to build character and prepare for the years to come.  I believe in pushing students to find that intrinsic motivation and inner love of learning.  In this class we work hard and have many discussions that help develop critical thinking skills, systems thinking, and global awareness all the while being inquisitive, having fun, and building strong relationships.

Please enjoy these last few days of summer and get ready for a great year!  I look forward to meeting you and forming great relationships.

Feel free to email me at any time for any reason:

Your teacher,
Ashley Dalcerri